The 30 Day Challenge

Jo-Ann in Black and White

I’ve been thinking about trying something for the last few weeks and decided now is as good a time as any to attempt this. I want to write a novel in 30 days. Yeah, I know November is National Novel Writing Month. I also know that writers generally take on this challenge in the month of November. Too bad, I’m doing it in February anyway. After all, there’s nothing much else to do except shovel snow and shiver on the couch whenever the thermostat dips below 70 degrees.

A few of my fellow writers pointed out that I would have to write approximately 6 to 7 pages each day in order to accomplish the task of reaching 200-plus pages of a first draft in a month’s time — and believe me, if you’re cranking out 7 pages of fresh copy in one day, it will be an extremely rough first draft. I think I’m up for it, even though today I only wrote three pages. I went back over all three pages and made a few changes here, then edited a little bit there, which is something those brave writers who have already accomplished this amazing feat strongly advise against. The whole point is to crank the novel out fast, then go back and edit, and edit, and edit some more.

Can I do this? I don’t know. But you can bet I’ll be giving it a try.

Meanwhile, with the next book in the Jersey Girl Cozy Mystery SeriesHide Nor Hair, due to be released on March 30, the folks at PageSpring Publishing asked me to get a professional shot of myself for the book cover. Twenty years ago I would have jumped at the chance. This year I moaned and groaned and got myself to one of those Glamour Shot places. The end result? See the picture above. They did their best, of course, though honestly, they didn’t have much to work with! I think maybe the camera was too close (the picture might have come out a lot better had they photographed me from a block or two away). I also think going with liquid eyeliner might have been a mistake (even though I did give the go-ahead when asked if I wanted it applied). I kind of look like I could play the part of O-Lan in The Good Earth, or maybe sing Linda Low’s “I Enjoy Being a Girl” tune from Flower Drum Song — okay, a REALLY OLD Linda Low.

Anyway, I’m back to work. It’s 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night and I have five more pages to write before Agent Carter comes on. Wish me luck!

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